The Departure from Ghost to Jekyll

On a recent vacation to Yellowstone, I realized I would probably be without internet for a couple weeks... and like any tech addict, I scrambled to figure out how I was going to survive. I had already planned on fishing, reading and generally enjoying nature, but I needed something to do after everyone else was long passed out and snoring. It seemed like a tossup between sleeping or writing and since I'm terrible at sleeping, I went for writing. To be more specific, I decided to spend the time working on blogging again.

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Remove Already Tracked Items from Git

After wrestling with a .NET app that wasn't excluding the "packages" directory from the repo, I realized I had missed a crucial and obvious step... I forgot to commit the change to finalize the removal. Talk about one of those "you forgot a comma" moments...

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Thoughts on Migrating to a Microservices Architecture

I was recently asked when it made sense to choose to architect an application based on micro-services vs the more common approach of using a more centralized core framework or codebase. Answering this over Twitter is simply impossible as the answer isn't simple. In fact, there's a lot that needs to be considered as the decision extends well beyond just the code.

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Create an ".EBextensions" Folder on Windows

I have a number of Linux-based applications that have been using the .ebextensions functionality of Elastic Beanstalk for quite some time. Its a great way of managing the configuration of your environments and running tasks both pre and post-deploy. However, one of my current projects is a C# .NET app and it took me a while to remember how to create a folder in Windows with a leading (.) period. It seems so trivial, but, honestly, I can't recall the last time I've had to do it - chances are many of you can't either.

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Tips for working with Node.js on Ubuntu

Installing Nodejs from the standard Ubuntu repos.

While this won't get you bleeding edge 0.12.x, it will it will get you a relatively recent and stable version of 0.10.x. This probably isn't a bad thing as 0.12.x is pretty new and not everything supports it - yet.

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2015 Goals and Roadmap

This year I plan on changing up the process just a little bit. While I still want to have a few goals that are for the year as a whole, I also want to come up with one super simple and achievable items for each month. The reason for this is that, upon reviewing last year, it became clear that there wasn't a whole lot to keep things happening. So, this year I want to ensure that there are activities with enough frequency to keep the engagement and excitement - while still being realistic.

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2014 Year in Review

For the past few years I've made a list of the things I would like to accomplish in the new year. For the most part, these items are more than resolutions; they're meant as a plan of attack for personal growth and development. Each item is something personal to me, is meant to be actionable and something I honestly hope to accomplish. Of course, a year is quite a bit of time, so anything can happen. Lets see how I did...

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What is DevOps

A topic that has come up in many discussions for me recently is DevOps. Its an important thing to understand, but I'm finding a lot of people have some serious misconceptions about what it is and actually means. This is surprising due to how common a practice it has become. For instance, AWS re:Invent had an entire track dedicated to DevOps. Regardless, its interesting to hear peoples thoughts on the subject.

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How to Setup Ghost on Elastic Beanstalk

Over the past six months, the Ghost blogging platform has made some huge waves in the blogging world. It has a responsive, streamlined interface that gets out of the way and enables authors to blog quickly and efficiently. At a time when WordPress is growing more and more complex, this is a breath of fresh air. And, even in its pre-1.0 release status, the platform is undoubtedly stable and usable.

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Add or Update Tags on Existing Elastic Beanstalk Environments

Back in May, Amazon introduced the ability to tag your Beanstalk environments. This is great for anyone that properly uses tags to monitor, track and account for the resources they are using. One challenge that I've run into recently, though, is that this is only during the creation of an environment; AWS currently doesnt offer the ability to add, remove or update tags to existing environments.

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New Years Resolutions: SaaS Mastery

Every year, a large chunk of the people who set resolutions are destined for failure. Complete and utter failure. While we can all speculate the reasons, more often than not, it comes down to a combination of procrastination, unactionable goals and lack of a clear game plan. Seriously.

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Enter: Alchemy Codeworks

Starting from scratch, with severely limited free time, has been a challenge - to say the least. However, it has afforded me a few luxuries; most notable is that I can truly start fresh. Because of this, I have taken quite a bit of time to step back and evaluate new directions. My current company, Epoxy Labs, has served me well for many years. However, much of the work I have produced under that entity is either locked away behind NDA's or no longer online. This was by design; it was meant to provide income and experience, not an elaborate, hyped portfolio. It also worked out well because my work spoke for itself and word of mouth recommendations replaced any need for ever advertising my services. However, times are changing - as is the model for the web. Custom, contract-driven, one-off solutions are no longer the value proposition that I want to target. Instead, I feel that its time to move on to something new. My goal now is to create a fresh company with a focus on delivering simple, intuitive and elegant SaaS solutions; read: products. These need to be so compelling that the ROI is instantly understandable and the barrier to purchase must be incredibly low. They need to be worth their weight in gold, but cost the same as tin.

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